New partnership launched to tackle knife crime in Dewsbury West ward
Residents are working in partnership with the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit (VRU) and Safer Kirklees in a "co-production" approach to stamp out knife crime in Dewsbury West and other parts of the district.
An online event took place with people who live and work in the areas - which also include Ashbrow, Greenhead and Newsome in Huddersfield - sharing their experiences and views around potential interventions.
Discussions revolved around issues of peer pressure, education, support tools and specialist services available.
The accessibility of positive activities and employment prospects also formed a key part of the conversation.
A survey has been created to capture further feedback on the key themes, including the impact of knife crime, why young people carry knives, as well as possible solutions.
Director of the West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, Chief Superintendent Jackie Marsh, said: “Community co-production highlights the benefits of working together positively and allows local people to play a key role in determining the appropriate interventions.
“It is about sharing good practice, learning from one another, making connections, and emphasising the importance of fully involving people who are impacted by serious violence, including the communities and residents who live there.
“We have already seen the immediate impact that this approach has had following a series of pilot schemes in Leeds over the summer.
“We want to replicate that same success in Kirklees, but to achieve this, we must identify clear objectives on reducing knife crime and how we can respond effectively as one.”
Councillor Carole Pattison, cabinet member for learning, aspiration and communities, said: “Knife crime is a truly awful crime that causes significant concern across communities.
"I share this concern with residents and that is why I welcome this co-production approach to addressing the problem.
“Not one organisation or community can tackle such a significant issue and that is why it’s so important we come together, listen to our residents and together develop actions that will combat knife crime.
“This approach will build on the work that Safer Kirklees have been conducting with residents on other key issues such as violence, anti-social behaviour and road safety.
"We understand the importance of involving our residents in helping us, and our partners, to ensure we have safe communities where residents feel proud of the area where they live.
“As always, my sincere thanks go to our residents who are so positively engaging with this approach and to the staff at West Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit for organising this initiative.”
Work will now take place to capture all the findings from the event and to set out an approach in response to the issues raised.